Bits 'n' Pieces: Justin Bieber tweets to Vancouver's Megan Ham

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Justin Bieber tweets to Vancouver's Megan Ham

Megan Ham was born with a rare neurological disorder. Her doctors predicted she wouldn't live past her 2nd birthday.

She proved them wrong.

Megan is now 11 and attends Hearthwood Elementary.

She is one of only 1,500 kids worldwide with the neurological disorder lissencephaly. She has frequent seizures -- sometimes up to 70 a day.

Her doctors also predicted that she would never walk, talk or show emotion.

It's true that Megan cannot walk or talk. And until recently, she had never shown emotion.

But when Megan was in her classroom at school, a Justin Bieber song played on the radio. And for the first time in her life, she showed emotion. She smiled and kicked her legs. Megan reacted to Bieber like most other 11-year-old girls on the planet.

Her teachers were astounded. So were her parents, Michael and Roxanne Ham.

They noticed that Megan had the same reaction anytime she heard Bieber's music.

Megan's parents learned that Bieber would perform in concert at Portland's Rose Garden on Oct. 8. They wanted to take her to the concert, but wondered if she would even see Justin from way back in the handicapped seating area.

Portland TV station FOX 12 ran a story about Megan's reaction to Bieber's music, and word reached the youthful entertainer.

Bieber tweeted: "MEGAN you stay strong for me and I'm gonna make sure we meet when i come to Portland. Love you and Thank You :) -"

Visit Megan's Facebook "fan" page: Megan Ham's Journey to Meet Justin Bieber.

— Susan Parrish

High-schooler produces film on county's ag heritage

How much of the food in your kitchen was grown in Clark County? Justine Hanrahan would like you to consider this question.

Although Hanrahan is only 17, she is a community advocate for local, sustainable agriculture -- and an experienced filmmaker.

Saturday she will premiere her 18-minute documentary, "History of Agriculture in Clark County," at a free public screening.

Her goal in making the film was to give viewers the historic context behind Northwest farming and to provide people the knowledge to make decisions regarding agricultural sustainability.

A junior at Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, Hanrahan did the writing, camera work, editing and publicity for the film.

Her brother, Ryan, 15, and also a VSAA student, did some color correction and played guitar for the background music.

To tell the story, she connected with local farmers, historians and archaeologists.

"I wanted to show a new perspective on farms that exists now in Clark County and to get viewers to appreciate decreasing farm sizes and numbers," she said.

The screening of Hanrahan's film, "History of Agriculture in Clark County," is at 7 p.m. June 16 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 426 E. Fourth Plain Blvd. The event is free, but donations will be accepted for the church's scholarship fund, a project Hanrahan started to support graduating students seeking further education.

— Susan Parrish

Bits 'n' Pieces appears Fridays and Saturdays. If you have a story you'd like to share, email bits@columbian.com.