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New Program Helps Transgender Teens Find Their Identity

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DALLAS -- 15-year-old Kammie is your typical teen. She's a high school freshman and likes to hang with her friends, but life hasn't been all smiles for Kammie. She has been struggling with something her entire life.  A condition experts say results in a 60% suicide rate among teens.

"I have been living here for about two and half years, but I'm Transgender," Kammie said.

That's right, Kammie was born a boy.

"Kammie identified as female very early on," her mother Christina Pippin explained. "As early as the time she could speak."

READ: Kammie's Blog

It's a condition called Gender Dysphoria, and it took nine years for her family to understand who she is.

"We realized that we needed to really explore this and figure it out or we were going to lose our child," Pippin said.

Other families and teens just like Kammie know this transition is very difficult.  Teens often deal with bullying, they lose friends, and some are even disowned by their family.

"As they grow, they become depressed, anxious, and many attempt suicide," said Dr. Ximena Lopez of Childrens' Health.

That's why Children's Health in Dallas started the GENECIS program.  It's the only transgender pediatric program in the southwest.  Here, Teens get counseling, talk to a psychiatrist, and are prescribed puberty blockers to give them time to find their identity.

"It was a huge blessing in our lives," Pippin said.

Doctors hope it can also be a blessing to others just like Kammie and her family.

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