One 'Stranger Things' Star Is Raising Awareness
There are plenty of characters to love on Netflix's surprise hit, Stranger Things, but one young man has captured hearts in a big way. Dustin is the voice of friendship and reason throughout the show's first season, and the actor who plays him is doing even bigger things in real life. Due to his own condition, which affects the growth of his bones & teeth, Stranger Things actor Gaten Matarazzo has become something of a spokesperson for the cleidocranial dysplasia.
Matarazzo has been pretty open about the condition, talking to People in the wake of Stranger Things' success:
"There's a one in a million chance that you have of getting it – most likely you get it from a parent, but it just happened for me ... I have a very mild case so it doesn't affect me as much, but it can be a very difficult condition to have."
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, cleidocranial dysplasia affects the development of bones and teeth, including symptoms such as underdevelopment of the clavicle. Matarazzo told People that this symptom does affect him, but that he doesn't actually mind it. "People are like, 'Well you can do these cool things with your shoulders,'" he told the mag.
Seeing this young actor on a show as beloved as Stranger Things talking about his condition and even cracking jokes certainly has to make other kids with the same condition feel like they have more of a community. And now that Stranger Things Season 2 is officially on, it would stand to reason that Matarazzo is going to keep on inspiring those with cleidocranial dysplasia, and, well, everyone who watches his hilarious performance on the Netflix series.