CHICAGO (CBS) — The gender and sex development program at Lurie Children’s Hospital has just received a $500,000 grant from Jennifer Pritzker, a Chicago philanthropist who is a transgender woman.

It was Jennifer Pritzker who provided the initial grant money for the gender identity clinic at Lurie Children’s Hospital when it opened three years ago.

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The program director, Dr. Robert Garofalo said what’s happened in the past three years is remarkable.

“I think what we didn’t know back then and certainly do now is what a demand there would be for these type of services. Back when we started it, I think we were caring for about a dozen families. A few weeks ago I think we cared for our 400th family,” he said. “We’re seeing on average about 15 new patients per month. We have a 4- to 5-month waiting list for our services, and we really – I don’t want to say struggled, because it’s been a good struggle – but struggled to keep up with demand.”

Garofalo said his patients range in age from 4 to 22.

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Marie Newman’s 15-year-old daughter is one of the patients in the program.

“My daughter transitioned over the last year. She transitioned from male, so she was born as a male,” she said.

Newman said her daughter has worked hard – with the help of therapists – to fight depression.

“She manages it very well now, and that’s in no small part to all of the great health care providers on her team,” she said.

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Besides Pritzker’s grant, she’s pledged to match up to $500,000 in donations from the public; meaning Lurie’s gender and sex development program could get $1.5 million.