YRP officer completes 24-hour fundraising workout inspired by son with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Adam McEachern is nursing achy muscles, sore joints and ripped-up palms. He jokes that every part of his body below his forehead hurts. But he's also feeling gratitude.

Over a 24-hour period this week, the York Regional Police officer pushed his body to the limit with a fitness challenge to raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and funds for Kerry's Place Autism Services in Aurora.

McEachern moved through a gruelling circuit of exercises starting Thursday night: 5,100 squats, 3,400 push-ups, 1,700 chin-ups, and a 34-mile run.

It's a mission McEachern has been training for since last May, one inspired by his seven-year-old son Caleb, who was placed on the autism spectrum when he was three-and-a-half.

"It was not about the workout itself. It was doing something very grand to bring awareness to autism." McEachern told CTV News on Saturday. "I wanted to make sure that the exercises got completed, that people were drawn to it, that they were inspired to donate."

McEachern had aimed to raise $10,000. By mid-afternoon Saturday, donations totalled nearly $25,000.

"In the middle of a global pandemic, a lot of people are going through some tough times, so it's very humbling."

McEachern admits maintaining focus through the exhausting workout was difficult, but he had friends, family, and colleagues to cheer him on and share in the pain.

Caleb was there, squatting alongside his dad as he completed the challenge.

"It was very special," McEachern said. "He's my Superman."

Kerry's Place has been part of McEachern's journey to understand how the world looks to Caleb. He hopes the money he raised will help other families who need a hand.

with files from Kim Phillips