‘Stranger Things’ teen star Gaten Matarazzo makes donation for rare genetic disorder affecting bones, teeth
Gaten Matarazzo is the lovable Dustin in the “Stranger Things” gang, and part of his charm is in his toothless smile.
This idiosyncrasy was written into the character because the 15-year-old has cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD), a birth defect which affects the development of bones and teeth.
According to the United States National Library of Medicine, one in a million individuals worldwide have this condition.
He has since used his fame to raise awareness on it and created a non-profit, CCD Smiles in 2016. The organization aims to provide dental care and fund research to address CCD.
Matarazzo, who hails from New Jersey, found nine people in Utah with the same disorder, reports KSL TV.
Assuming that they were invited to a dinner party, they were surprised with the chance to receive free dental surgery.
One of the individuals, Stephanie Muñoz, shared that she never had a full set of teeth. She experienced bullying because of this, and was in tears when she discovered she could get free treatment.
“A lot of people can’t afford (dental surgery), so we’re here to help them get their smiles back through dental surgery or any other surgeries they might need,” said the actor, who uses false teeth.
He shared to KUTV that he had difficulty auditioning for parts even as a child because his teeth were “messed up.”
Sci-fi thriller “Stranger Things” is the first show which fully embraced his condition to make the character “unique,” he added. Niña V. Guno/JB
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