Rachel Sanoff
September 12, 2016 2:33 pm

The ragtag crew of kids from the ’80s sci-fi inspired Netflix phenomenon, Stranger Things, are taking Hollywood by storm.


As they each possess acting ability far beyond their years and infectious IRL personalities, it makes sense that their careers are skyrocketing.

Gaten Matarrazo plays lovable and wise Dustin, best friend to Mike, Lucas, and Will.


In addition to being a funny and intelligent character, Dustin also has cleidocranial dysplasia — a rare genetic condition that Gaten has in real life.

Symptoms of the genetic disorder include underdeveloped bones and teeth, and Gaten spoke to People about what it’s like to live with a rare genetic disorder — and how his public platform is already helping other kids who share the condition.

Gaten, who is 14-years-old, talked to People about the rarity of cleidocranial dysplasia:

Those who have a more severe condition often require back surgery or facial surgery, Gaten said. In his case, he required a few mouth surgeries. He also spoke about how his visibility and openness about the disorder has already made an impact on other kids struggling with the same thing:


We so admire Gaten Matarazzo, both for his impressive talents and his ability to be so open about a sensitive health issue at such a young age. You will definitely go far, Gaten!