Alicia Neubauer and her husband Eric are owners of Ground Floor Skateboards located in the heart of downtown Rockford on E. State Street. Alicia isn't a skateboarder herself, but she has adopted the sport because of the love her husband has for skating. They opened up shop in March and in just a short time have developed a strong connection with local business owners and have created a community of local skateboarders.
Support that she now has surrounding her during her bumpiest ride yet, breast cancer.
Alicia Neubauer said, "In January or February I found a lump that was painful and July 24th I found that I had invasive ductal carcinoma."
Doctors found that she has stage 2 breast cancer and quickly started chemotherapy.
As fast as doctors have moved to treat Alicia, the community has surrounded her just as quick.
Kate Wirth is a friend of Alicia who said, "She is so powerful and strong and just doesn't let things get her down."
Alicia learned she would lose her hair from treatment so she decided to cut her hair and donate it to a charity who makes wigs for children.
Friends and family gathered to watch Alicia cut her hair but it wasn't just Alicia's hair that was cut. Her husband shaved his head along with their two little boys.
Alicias husband, Eric Neubauer said, "We shaved our heads to show that we're going through it too."
Family shaved their head for support along with a community of skateboarders as well. Matt Poulisse was among the skateboarders that frequent the Ground Floor Skateboards. He said that it was the least he could do to show his support for Alicia.
"Eric and Alicia have done so much for the skateboarding community and for me", said Poulisse. "It was the very least that I could do."
Eric Neubauer said, "We took this thing that could be really negative and really terrible and make it a positive thing."
Turning a negative into a positive. For Alicia, cancer is just another obstacle to do something great with.
"I'll be resilient and be able to bounce back quickly," said Neubauer. "I'm ready for it. That's why I'm not scared."
"Cancer doesn't know who it's messing with, said Eric Neubauer. "Cancer better watch out."