A fifth-grade girl in Vancouver, Wash., has a rare brain disorder, and doctors didn't expect her to live past the age of 2. But now she's defying the odds with the help of her love for Justin Bieber.
Megan Ham, 11, was diagnosed with Lissencephaly shortly after birth. The condition has left her severely neurologically impaired.
"She's had as many as 70 seizures in a day, but usually it is around five," said Megan's father, Michael Ham.
There are only 1,500 known cases of Lissencephaly among kids worldwide. Lissencephaly literally means smooth brain; it’s a rare brain formation disorder caused by defective neuronal migration during the 12th to 24th weeks of gestation. Children with the disorder often die within several months of birth.
Doctors have said Megan will never be able to walk and will never be able to talk. At one point, doctors told her family she would never recognize them or even express emotions.
"We've just taken every step we can to make her quality of life longer, but we still wake up every morning hoping that she's still here with us," said Megan's mother, Roxanne Ham.
But Megan’s parents said that every time Megan sees or hears Justin Bieber, she lights up.
"She just can't get enough of him," said Roxanne Ham.
It was her teachers at Hearthwood Elementary School in Vancouver who stumbled across her love for Bieber one day when one of his songs popped up on the radio.
Now, Megan's wheelchair is fully equipped with a special switch so she can listen to his music whenever she wants. When his songs come on, Megan begins to smile and even kick her feet.
"It really helps her to get through the day," said teacher Kim Graves. "It keeps her happy and it keeps her comfortable."
Her reaction to Bieber's music is something doctors never thought to be possible, and it has showed her family that Megan has the ability to interact and communicate with them.
"We never thought we would feel that, from what the doctors said at the beginning," said Michael Ham. "This has really opened up a lot of doors."
So now her family members say they have all become "Beliebers" because, for a moment, they get to see Megan act like any other girl her age.
"It makes me want to cry, she's happy and ... it's a pretty big deal," said Michael Ham.
Bieber will sing in concert at the Rose Quarter in Portland in October. Megan's family said that because she is visually impaired, she won't be able to see or enjoy the concert from the Rose Quarter's assigned handicapped seats.
It didn't take long for word of Megan’s story to get around to Bieber. He sent a tweet at about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday that read: "MEGAN you stay strong for me and I'm gonna make sure we meet when i come to Portland. Love you and Thank You :) - — Justin Bieber”