Source: USA Today
Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo is undergoing surgery for his rare bone condition.
The 17 year old actor took to Instagram to share a photo of him in a hospital room, preparing for another procedure related to his cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD).
“Surgery number 4!” he wrote. “This is a big one!”
Among those in the comments wishing Matarazzo a successful surgery were his co-stars. “Good luck love!!! Sending my love gate,” wrote Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven on the Netflix series. Cara Buono, who plays Karen Wheeler, wrote, “Sending you supernova good vibes. Love you.”
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), CCD is a condition that primarily affects the growth of bones and teeth. It can cause underdeveloped or absent collarbones, a delayed maturation of the skull and dental abnormalities, among other effects. Approximately one in every one million people in the world has the condition, though the NIH notes it is likely underdiagnosed.
Matarazzo opened up about life with the condition, and how it became part of his Stranger Things character Dustin, during an appearance on The Doctors in 2018.
“I think what the directors of the show really wanted was to make sure that each character was unique and had something that was realistic and personal,” he explained. The conversation about his disorder began in his audition, when he caught attention for the way he was stretching.
Matarazzo is able to touch his shoulders together when he stretches his arms.
“I said, ‘I was born without collar bones,’ and I started explaining what it was and how I had a condition from birth and it affects my teeth and everything,” he said. “Once I got the part, they said they were going to incorporate that and use it in a realistic way.
“They asked me if it was OK if the kids in the show had bullied me because of it. I said, ‘It’s totally cool. It’s realistic.'” Which might explain why he joined fellow New Jersey native and Bon Jovi guitar legend Richie Sambora in an anti-bullying event in Ocean County.
To learn more about Cleidocranial Dysplasia and how you can help those with the condition you can go to ccdSmiles.org.