If you’ve gotten hooked on Stranger Things, there’s no doubt you’ve already fallen in love with Gaten Matarazzo!
The breakout star is using his platform garnered from playing the lovable Dustin on the Netflix hit to bring awareness to his reality of living with cleidocranial dysplasia.
In case you didn’t know, this particular disease is a rare genetic disorder that can range in severity, and affects the development of bones and teeth.
Speaking to People about his condition, the 14-year-old explains:
“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.”
Although many people living with cleidocranial dysplasia, like Gaten, have to get multiple back and face surgeries, the young actor continues to see the bright side in his diagnosis.
The New Jersey native insists one of the “cool” side effects of having this disorder is that because of the underdeveloped clavicle, he can move his shoulders into the midline of his body:
“People are like, ‘Well you can do these cool things with your shoulders.’ That part’s cool about it.”
Plus, his newfound fame has given the Broadway performer an opportunity to make a difference:
“The feedback has been great. A lot of people were messaging me saying, ‘You made me feel better about myself, that you can show that you have this condition on TV and embrace it.’ I feel like I’m raising awareness for it. It makes me feel good.”
Aw! That’s awesome!
What a mature kid!
[Image via WENN.]