One-on-one with Heather Carr, wife of Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — On the outskirts of the so-called “Sin City” is Derek and Heather Carr’s sanctuary.

Their home is nestled in a quiet, gated community.

But it’s only a short drive to Allegiant Stadium, where Derek is the starting quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders.

Heather Carr, now a mother of four and considered a seasoned NFL wife, says she’s still as excited today as she was in her debut at Fresno State.

“It really never gets old. It touches me the same way,” Heather said.

Heather met Derek when they were both in college.

She was a waitress at a local restaurant and Derek was a customer who wanted Heather’s attention.

“I just walked by and he did his silly line of ‘Why are you only wearing one earring?’ And then, you know, it makes you check your earrings and so I hit him and I was like ‘What do you mean? I have two.’ And so it was like his icebreaker to start talking to me.” Heather said.

Another server told Heather that Derek was Fresno State’s promising quarterback.

“I was just like ‘Ugh, I don’t want anything to do with this.’ The typical footballer, right? Heather said.

So when Derek asked her for her number, she gave him the wrong number.

The next day he went back to work, told her he had tried to call and he knew the number was wrong.

“He said, well, how about that? I’ll give you my number, and when you’re ready, you can call me.” Heather said.

Two to three weeks later, she did. The two eventually started dating, connecting over common interests and their faith.

But a defining moment in their relationship came early in Derek’s college when, admittedly, he strayed from what the Bible taught him.

Heather wrote him a letter telling him he wasn’t who she thought he was.

“And, if you ask Derek, that’s what changed him. And so I feel like the Lord handled that situation so perfectly, but looking back, that was the hardest thing. to do,” Heather said.

The two continued their relationship and married in June 2012.

They welcomed their first son, Dallas, in August 2013.

Heather says she and Derek had to lean on their faith as Dallas, just hours old, was rushed for surgery at Valley Children’s Hospital for entangled intestines, a life-threatening abnormality.

Dallas had to undergo a second operation. And then a third.

As Dallas was about to undergo the third surgery, Heather says she asked God for a sign.

“I remember Dallas was sleeping and he woke up and he winked at me and I said, ‘Thank you, Lord! That’s the sign I needed that we’re going away. come out.” I’m in tears because it was so emotional in that moment.” Heather said.

Dallas made a full recovery after this operation.

Heather held him in the stands as they cheered Derek on throughout his Fresno State career.

In 2014, Derek made it to the NFL.

He was drafted in the second round by the then Oakland Raiders.

“We were so grateful to have been able to be close to home,” Heather said.

Heather and Derek leaned on David and Melody Carr as they transitioned into professional football.

After settling in, Derek and Heather began growing their family and welcomed their second son, Deker, in March 2016.

In 2019, they welcomed another baby boy, Deakon.

That same year, the Raiders organization decided to leave Oakland and moved to Las Vegas.

“We were very sad to leave Oakland and all of its history, but we are grateful for this new beginning,” Heather said.

Then the pandemic hit.

Shortly after moving in, Heather says she and Derek got what they call a “surprise blessing,” a baby girl they named Brooklyn who was born in November 2020.

“She wasn’t planned, but the Lord blessed us with her. He always knew I wanted a baby girl,” Heather said.

Over the years, Derek and Heather have never forgotten their stay in Fresno or their 23-day stay at Valley Children’s Hospital.

“Coming into the NFL we wanted to give back and in the NFL you can choose your cause and so that has always been our cause was Valley Children’s,” Heather said.

They created the DC4Kids Touchdown Challenge, which helps raise funds to support the hospital.

These days, you can find Heather, Dallas, Deker, Deakon and Brooklyn on the sidelines, decked out in silver and black, cheering Derek on.

And Heather being a support system for him behind the scenes.

“Some days he comes home, he’s calm, he’s tired. Just make sure he always knows I’m here to cheer him on, support him, do I have to do anything for you,” he said. explained Heather.

While Derek leads the Raiders on the field, Heather helps lead the player’s girlfriends, fiances and wives in a weekly Bible study group.

She also helps set up a parents’ association at her children’s school and says, overall, she aims to be a support system for other women around her.

“To take people by my side and just be there for them. I think that’s something I really enjoy doing,” Heather said.

Derek and Heather recently celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary with a “Still Do” BBQ.

She thinks that one day when Derek retires from the NFL they will enter the ministry, but for now their goal is to win the Super Bowl this season.

She doesn’t take a single moment for granted.

“As soon as Derek comes out of the tunnel, I still cry to this day. It’s just – I just think back – I think, wow, it’s such a blessing to be here. May the Lord keep us here for our 9th season? It’s just amazing.”

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Edward L. Robinett