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Carrie McClure

From witnessing the genuine gratitude of Fort Worth resident Betty Franklin as she’s presented with a new roof for her weather-beaten home, to chitchatting with Tinseltown A-lister Chris Pine, Dallas’ own Carrie McClure has conversed with a very wide spectrum of personalities. For the Good Morning Texas host, it’s all in a day’s work. The 40-year-old mom of three has been a host for almost three years and says it’s a job she’s grateful to have.      
 
Good Morning Texas has been an incredible experience for me,” Carrie says. “I started out in 1997 as a news reporter and anchor, working in different cities across the country and covering every single kind of work shift imaginable. But after working weekends, holidays and everything in between for 12 years, I was ready to tackle something a little more family-friendly.”
 
Prior to GMT, Carrie worked for KUSA-TV in Denver. In fact, Carrie spent a good chunk of time in Colorado, where she attended Columbine High School and received her journalism degree at the University of Colorado. But she’s a Texas native through-and-through. Carrie was born in Richardson and lived in Plano for a stint before her out-of-state move. She made her way back to Dallas in 2011, and now that she’s back in Big D, she’s nicely settled in to University Park with husband Craig, the owner of SafePoint Security, and their three boys: Mason, 11, Colton, 7, and Barron, 6.
 
From the outside, everything in Carrie’s life is pretty picture-perfect, but, like everyone else, she’s had her share of challenges to overcome. On top of balancing motherhood with her coveted position as a member of the Good Morning Texas team, she’s also had to provide her youngest son Barron, who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with the extra TLC that he needs.
 
“Barron was born about 2.5 months early, so not only did he weigh three pounds at birth, but he also couldn’t eat and breathe at the same time,” Carrie shares. “While he learned to do so, he lived [in the neonatal intensive care unit] at Rose Medical Center in Denver for almost 70 days. I went back to work at the local NBC affiliate in Denver almost immediately after having him via emergency C-section. Fortunately, the hospital and the TV station were close enough to one another where I was able to visit him on my dinner breaks, pump breast milk for his feeding tube and do what’s called ‘kangaroo care’ (where an infant is held skin-to-skin with his mother).”
 
As baby Barron grew older, the mom sensed that he was different from his two older brothers. “He was heavily delayed and seemed to look right through you, as if he didn’t really see you,” she explains. Initially, doctors told her it was due to his premature birth, but when a year rolled by and Barron was still displaying symptoms of delay, the McClures were told that autism was a possibility. At first, Carrie says she was in denial. But when the family moved to Dallas in 2011 and had him retested, the truth began to set in.
 
“Craig and I sat down at this long conference table filled with therapists and experts in their [respective] fields.” Carrie recalls, recounting the defining moment. “And in the middle of that long table sat a box of tissues. They confirmed Barron showed definitive signs of ASD and I used up that entire box of tissues.”
 
After giving themselves a few days to absorb what they had just heard, the parents were ready to move forward. “Accepting news you don’t want to hear is better than denying it’s true,” says Carrie. “Because once I accepted I had a son with ASD, I was able to embrace it. And once you embrace it, you’re charged up to do something about it.”
 
Barron’s come a long way since his preemie days. Today, he not only eats and breathes at the same time, but he can do just about anything his big brothers Mason and Colton can do. With the help of speech and writing classes and social skills therapy, Barron has gone from nonverbal to verbal in just over three years. He’s in a mainstream first grade class and plays on a soccer team — his first team sport. Like many kids his age, he enjoys his iPad, golfing, reading, playing with Legos and swimming. And while there are still times Barron gets easily upset and has trouble calming down, Carrie and Craig work through it the best they can, as a team.
 
Team effort applies to everything the McClures do. Carrie says her days start bright and early at 6:15am. Craig and Carrie help each other get breakfast on the table (and dinner in the Crock-Pot) and prepare the children for school. While Craig taxis the kids to school, Carrie heads to WFAA for a 7:30am conference and hair-and-makeup session (which she does herself). She’s on the air live from 9–10am. If she’s out in the field, she returns to the studio for a post-show meeting and office to-dos. Since Carrie works part time, she’s done with her workday by early afternoon, just in time to pick up her boys by 2:30pm. Dinner starts at around 6 or 7pm, and Colton and Barron are in bed by 8pm.
 
At 11 years old, her eldest son Mason is self-sufficient. “After visiting with us, he gets ready for bed and gives us the last goodnight hug and kiss,” she says. “Craig and I collapse on the couch, have a glass of wine and are headed to bed by 10:30pm.” Weekends are a bit more subdued, notwithstanding the usual sports practices, games, birthday parties and playdates that come with raising three boys. 
 
And while boys are known to be rambunctious, Carrie wouldn’t want it any other way. “I can have the crappiest day at work, [but when I] come home to them, I’m entertained with stories about their day, perhaps a dance performance or becoming informed with a new fact!” As for Barron, the mom can’t help but dote. “Barron is the only child I know that, upon entering the door, will ask, ‘How was your day, Mommy?’” she shares. “Or, after applying a Band-Aid to his knee, will exclaim, ‘Great job, Daddy!’ Craig and I always say that Barron is our angel. He has the purest of hearts and sweetest nature. His name means ‘Little Warrior,’ and I believe he’s worn that name well. He’s fought his way to today and I cannot thank God enough for him.”