Charles Stevens is just a regular kid.

He plays "Black Ops" on the family's PS3, likes playing four square on the playground, squabbles with his siblings and is excited about the seeds his class planted for science class.

What you will not see is the cadre of doctors and appointments Charles' mother, Cathy Brundage, tracks in a slim, black planner: pediatrician, neurologist, pulmonologist, eye specialist, surgeon, gastroenterologist, dentist, physical therapist.

She might have missed one in that list.

You also will not see the scars on his belly from various procedures or the one on his thigh from a muscle biopsy where he refuses to let his mother apply scar-reducing cream. He says he wants to remember what he has been through.

Charles, 9, has limb girdle muscular dystrophy, a slowly progressive genetic disease that is marked by weakness in the muscles around the shoulders and hips, and cardiopulmonary complications.

"A little cold to one child is a big thing to him," Brundage said.

He stays home four or five times a year because of those little colds. Instead of bed rest and fluids, he also has breathing treatments, chest X-rays, medications and, possibly, a visit to the hospital, his mom said.

Charles has undergone at least 7 major surgeries in his lifetime, most recently to thicken his soft palate and improve his speech. He has also undergone almost a half-dozen electromyograms, EMGs, which detect areas of healthy muscle tissue. The EMG involves sticking needles into his legs, then running electrical currents through them to locate the nerves, Brundage said.

But Charles should be done with those for awhile.

"The doctor said he's done putting him through all the pain," Brundage said.

Since his transition to public school at Stony Brook Elementary in Central York School District, Charles' confidence has improved, Brundage said. At his former school, he dealt with bullying, she said.

"They just treat me like a normal kid," Charles said of his classmates, who he thinks may not realize that sometimes he struggles.

But that's how he prefers it. He wants to be an inventor some day, and design a car that runs on water.

The family recently met with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and plans are being made for a trip to the Give Kids the World Village in Florida in the fall. The village, near Disney World, is a storybook resort created especially for children with disabilities.

"This gives the whole family a chance to forget about all the pain of tests and surgeries and actually be a family," Brundage said. That family includes Charles' brother, sister and stepfather, who have all stepped up to the plate when Charles is sick, Brundage said.

"Our place is never dull," Brundage said. "He's a tough kid."