Well, they are 3,000 miles away from me, but the web sites of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of King County, http://www.msa-sea.org
and the Oregon MS Society, http://www.orcnmss.org
have both helped me personally. They may be "examples" of what a difference local chapters can make.
I've used the Seattle chapter "questionnaires", to chart my symptoms, and in so doing got a much better understanding of where my lesions were probably the "worst". I'm also using them to "chart" my MS progress, or, hopefully lack thereof. What the chapter does locally is also evident on their web site and pretty impressive. You can check out the Ariel House link, which is housing for people with MS.
The Oregon site I've only been to once, but what a great newsletter they had (December/January 2004): Oregon MS Research: On the Cutting Edge
It gave me easy to read information about the TCR peptide trials, I learned Vandenbark and Offner (working on estrogen) are working together (and married by the way
), and I learned OHSU was recruiting for MS research trials for TCR therapy, a pilot study of mega-3 fatty acids, and a trial on the cognitive effects of ginko biloba on thinking.
Their research mirrors some of my personal biases about MS at this point in time (less than a year into it), so I "learned" if you will, where the research I personally wanted to follow was happening. That particular newsletter also "mourned" the loss of one of their advocates, who also served as chair of the Oregon Disabilities Commission. Not bad to have a person with MS chairing that kind of commission in a state.
Now, back to where I actually live, I will just say that I learned about the MS support groups in my area from a This is MS member. I am a member of NMSS.
And, since the US has definite north, south, east, and west "cultures", I'll put on my Southern culture hat and say thanks for Boston Cure.