You probably recognize him as Dustin from the Netflix retro sci-fi hit “Stranger Things,” and if you don’t, then you seriously need to give the series a watch.
But this time, Gaten Matarazzo isn’t educating the world about the Demogorgon–he’s opening up about his cleidocranial dysplasia. This condition that occurs in approximately 1 per million individuals worldwide, primarily affects the development of the bones and teeth.
Matarazzo recently appeared on “The Jonathan Ross Show” along with costars Millie Bobby Brown and Caleb McLaughlin and courageously opened up about his rare condition, hoping to raise awareness of cleidocranial dysplasia.
“It’s a condition where you’re born without your collar bones — I don’t have any,” 14-year-old Matarazzo explained. “It affects your facial growth, your skull growth… it affects your teeth… that’s why I don’t have any, these are fake, right here.”
There was even a scene incorporated into “Stranger Things” featuring Matarazzo mentioning the disease. “I told you a million times, my teeth are coming in. It’s called cleidocranial dysplasia,” his toothless character Dustin explains to his friends.
“A lot of people have it much worse than I do,” Matarazzo told host Jonathan Ross. “And I feel like putting it into the show is really raising awareness for it.”
“I just wanted to raise awareness for it and let people know it’s not something they should be afraid of showing.”
Even though he’s previously experienced some setbacks in his career due to the several surgeries he’s undergone to help treat the disease, Matarazzo isn’t letting his cleidocranial dysplasia hold him back from being great, and has even made appearances on broadway.
Thanks to Gaten Matarazzo, other people who suffer from disabilities will see that their condition doesn’t define who they are. What an incredible and inspiring young man!