Hockey Can Change Lives


Red Wings Fans

Red Wings Fans

Michelle Torres shares how a trip to Michigan drastically changed her family’s life in ways she thought impossible in her “Pure Michigan Moment.”

Two hours can change your life. Being able to watch my daughter Irina, enjoying life, and being a kid at a park did just that.


As native Texans, our favorite sports team is rather unusual, but we love the Detroit Red Wings. Since 2003, we have visited Detroit every few years during the winter or early spring to go to a Wings game. We fell in love with the area on our first visit and always said we’d move to Michigan one day.

When the Wings made the finals in 2008, we organized a family reunion in Detroit to go to Game 5 of the finals. We drove up and had a blast at the game, but that was just the beginning of our great time in Detroit.

Enjoying Life

We had never been in Michigan during the summer. We visited a park in Troy and let our daughter play outside. She has a rare disease and doesn't tolerate temperatures above 85 degrees, which in San Antonio is about 85 percent of the year. We left Texas in 100-degree weather (which is normal).  But it was mid-June and about 78 degrees on this day in Detroit.

Detroit RiverWalk

Our daughter played in the park for more than two hours, something she had never done in her lifetime. In that moment, it was simple. As I saw my child, happy and able to play free of sickness, we decided the time had come. We returned to San Antonio but I couldn't take it. My heart had been left in Michigan. We searched available houses, came back two weeks later to look, found the perfect one, and we moved to Michigan four weeks later. We literally found a life that we never knew existed … for her and for our family.

Michelle and her husband, Benjamin, live in Troy and still go to Red Wings games as much as possible. “We took a leap of faith,” says Michelle. “It’s been so much better than we ever thought. When we lived in Texas, we would vacation in Florida, but now there are so many wonderful locations in our own backyard. We're planning what will be our first real Michigan vacation for this summer—the list of possibilities is long. The changes in ourselves are drastic, but we love it. There is nothing better than living in Michigan.” Michelle wrote about her “Pure Michigan Moment for Michigan Travel Ideas.