Rather than edit my post of three days ago, I'll just put this here.
To the Chicago Trib story of a family plagued by MS, I will add my own anecdote. (I enjoy the relative anonymity of this site and do not plan to tell my life's story!)
I was adopted, but learned some of my biological background a few years ago after my MS diagnosis. My biological father was the oldest of 13 children; a niece of his has MS; HE HAS MS, TOO. I never knew this man, didn't live with him, did not, to my knowledge, eat the same diet or share germ exposure; obviously we share genes (English and Irish ethnicity).
As you all can guess, I suspect we share similarities in the way our pancreas functions (or misfunctions!). I have encouraged strangers to request insulin testing, but I do not intend to contact this man about it. Apparently, my scientific inquiry has limits. Surely, the answer can be found without this.
My own history contributes to my belief that the newspaper-reported family's frequency of MS cannot be coincidence either.