‘Stranger Things’ Star Opens up about Rare Condition
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"Stranger Things" star Gaten Matarazzo comes to The Doctors to speak about his rare genetic disorder, cleidocranial dysplasia, which caused him to be born without a collarbone and has affected the growth of his teeth.
The actor tells The Doctors his cleidocranial dysplasia was incorporated into his character, Dustin Henderson, on the Netflix series, by the show's directors The Duffer Brothers. The directors were inspired to use the bullying that Gaten experienced in real life as material for his character.
The actor says that the disorder, in addition to his height and lisp, had previously affected his acting career and he says it stopped him from getting cast in some roles.
In order to shed more light on the disorder, Gaten is working with nurse practitioner Kelly Wosnik, who started the foundation CCD Smiles, which aims to bring awareness and others with CCD together. She tells The Doctors that the organization also raises money for people with CCD whose insurance does not cover the medical procedures and surgeries.
The 15-year-old actor shares that he has undergone 2 surgeries and 4 tooth extractions in dealing with his cleidocranial dysplasia. He says he has more teeth than normal and his baby teeth did not fall out in the proper way and his adult teeth did not come in properly. He uses an oral appliance to help his teeth grow into his mouth properly.
In addition to another season of his hit Netflix series and some future feature films, Gaten tells The Doctors he is focused on helping CCD Smiles grow.