Gaten Matarazzo continues his battle in "Stranger Things" but little do people know, he is also persistent in fighting for his life against a rare genetic disorder.
Gaten, more popularly known as Dustin Henderson from the Netflix original series "Stranger Things," revealed that he will be undergoing his fourth surgery for Cleidocranial Dysplasia (CCD) - a condition he was born with.
The 17-year-old young actor delivered the news about his upcoming procedure by posting a photo of him on Instagram prior to the procedure.
He gave his fans a thumbs up from his hospital bed and wrote: "Surgery number 4! This is a big one!"
The disease is a rare genetic condition that affects the overall growth of the patient's bones and teeth.
His "Stranger Things" co-stars Millie Bobby Brown, Cara Buono, and Matthew Modine let him know that he is not alone in his battle by commenting on the Instagram post and wishing him well.
"Good luck love!!! sending my love gate," Brown cheered Gaten up.
The teen actor did not reveal the exact procedure he will be undergoing or the details about the operation. However, he has been extremely open about his disorder on Instagram and even outside the social media.
Prior to his fourth surgery, he also underwent a third surgery in March 2019 and posted a photo of him on the operating table.
"Surgery number three...yippee," he wrote.
In 2016, he appeared in an interview with People where the "Stranger Things" star detailed how it made him feel to born with such condition.
Gaten bravely said that Cleidocranial Dysplasia could be inherited from a parent, and a person can only have one in a million chance of getting diagnosed with it.
Though he has "a very mild case" of it that does not affect him that much, the actor still admitted that he is having a hard time dealing with the "very difficult" condition he has.
He also opened up about his condition on The Doctors two years ago. The then-15-year-old actor spoke how his rare illness prevented him from pursuing what he wanted to do in the entertainment industry for so many years.
Gaten added that his lisp, teeth situation, and his height made it even harder for him to win roles.
CCD is a Blessing in Disguise
Though he almost wished he never got to experience it, he landed the role of Dustin of "Stranger Things" in 2015 and became one of the pioneer actors of the series.
Despite his defect, the creators of the show, Matt and Ross Duffer, saw his condition positively and allowed it to become part of the character's identity.
"It really started out when I was stretching in the audition room, and I was just doing stretched and [Matt and Ross] were like "Wait, wait, wait what did you just do?"' Gaten playfully recalled.
Matt and Ross were both left in awe seeing how the young actor can make his shoulders touch since he does not have collar bones ever since he was born.
That moment, somehow, made Gaten feel that he is exceptional in the most fantastic way.