Quadruple Amputee Shaninlea Visser Launches Short Documentary and Inspiring Talk Show to Use Her Story of Trauma To Inspire and Motivate Others

Quadruple amputee Shaninlea Visser has released her short documentary and Season 1 of her very own inspiring talk show – The Shan Show – which was filmed by the same crew that brought you Survivor SA, The Voice SA, and more incredible South African TV productions – Warren Bleksley and Greg Nefdt of Alfacam and Blade Studios.
In the short documentary, you can witness Shan’s emotional and moving story of how she lost her hands, legs, and half her face in a matter of days after contracting a rare bacterial infection. Almost overnight the 34-year-old mother and businesswoman became a quadruple amputee.
After all of Shan’s trauma and tragedy, she’s still incredibly positive and believes that “can’t” isn’t a word. In the creation of the Short Documentary, and The Shan Show, Shan wants to share her story, and build a platform where people can share their incredible stories, motivate and inspire other people. In The Shan Show, she interviews incredible and positive people, who like herself have overcome trauma and hardship. Shan only wants to make the world a better place, and use her story and testament to inspire others. 
Season 1 of The Shan Show will consist of the following guests: 
· Shannon Martins, an incredible swimmer who lost her leg at 2 years old;
· Megan Hunter who is not only a survivor of the Rare Disease Myasthenia Gravis but also an ambassador for Rare Disease SA;
· Doug Anderson, a “Radio Man” who himself has suffered many scars from 49 surgeries due to Spina Bifida and started his own campaign “Me and My Scars”;
· Zola Brunner, a media queen who kicks Lupus’ butt every day;
· Natalie Nicholson, a fighter of the wounds you can’t see on the outside – mental health;
· Author Costa Carastavrakis, who went from Meth to Marathons;
The first 3 episodes …
The first episode of The Shan Show welcomes Costa Carastavrakis, a man who went from being addicted to crystal meth to a successful author, comedian, actor, a multiple Ironman Athlete and motivational speaker, now 13 years clean. Costa is an inspiration coming from a different perspective of adversity – drug addiction. A story no less motivating. The two share their stories and perspectives in this charming, yet impactful first episode of The Shan Show. 


From a young age Costa battled addiction from cigarettes and alcohol to eventually drugs in his early 30’s.  Brought to his knees by a crippling crystal meth addiction he eventually found a path of recovery.  With it came a new quest; to create the best version of himself.

Through constantly renewed health goals and small daily improvements, he transformed himself into an athlete, writer, and speaker with a purpose.  His first book, “I am Costa: From Meth to Marathons” will be available later this year and is a memoir on personal health and transformation.  In his humorous and original style, he brings light to the darkness of addiction and shows that true body mind and spirit recovery is possible for anyone. His book and message are about celebration of individuality and diversity.  For Costa, being himself and accepting himself became a matter of life and death.

His passion is igniting others to create and own their own transformation to a healthy life. His purpose is to carry a message of hope to the still-suffering addict as well as one of caution with growing issues of addiction affecting many in society today from drugs, to work, social media, food and others.

Costa has successfully launched a multimedia career with the success of his talks, TV appearances, and his first book published by Bookstorm Publishers.

Follow Costa:




Following the national success of episode 1 Shan released episode 2 with her cousin Natalie Nicholson. Natalie is a survivor and a fighter of the scars that can’t be seen on the outside, but which are bared on the inside: the scars of mental health. In this episode of The Shan Show, you can see the two family members, who grew up like sisters, talk about Natalie’s struggle with suicide and depression.

Mental health has always been a global issue and in recent years the numbers have increased drastically, in particular in 2020 with the Corona Virus pandemic and individuals feeling isolated at home. Suicide is a common factor of kids being bullied in schools, which is why Natalie discusses starting a life coaching practice in which she helps kids and teens who suffer from bullying in their schools. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds but the younger generation is facing a new type of bullying, cyberbullying, which takes place on all forms of social media.

Natalie was a victim of bullying in her younger years and was diagnosed with depression at the age of 15, with her first suicide attempt being at the age of 18 resulting in her being admitted to a psychiatric hospital. In 2019 Natalie experienced her own life-changing event, waking up from a coma after her almost fatal suicide attempt where she ingested all her prescribed pills at once. To view this compelling interview on mental health watch here: https://youtu.be/EmR0MCofTs0
If you are struggling with mental health/depression issues or know anyone that does please contact your local representative to get the help you may need. SADAG – https://www.sadag.org

Shortly after launching his own campaign #MeAndMyScars, South African radioman, Doug Anderson, aka the ‘Voice on Wheels’, appears as a guest in The Shan Show’s 3rd episode to share his story of him and his scars.

Born with Spina Bifida, Doug has had a total of forty-nine surgeries to date. His many surgeries have left many physical, emotional, and psychological scars. He has first-hand experience in being judged for the way you look and how people react to scars. He knows what it feels like to be teased, mocked and even insulted for his disability. He has experienced first-hand how these reactions from society at large do damage to one’s confidence, self-worth, and self-love. Doug has also been a victim of bullying which has contributed to his emotional and psychological scars which were a recurring topic in The Shan Show.

In this episode of The Shan Show you can witness two individuals who are both warriors on a mission to make a positive change in the world, in their own way.

The Launch …
On 22 April 2021, The Copperlake Bar and Grill in Broadacres kindly hosted the exclusive screening of Shan’s short documentary and episode 1 where Shan was accompanied by loved ones, family, supporters, the crew, her TV show guests and media. 
We invite you to view and share the short documentary of Shan’s Life and all The Shan Show episodes far and wide at no cost.
Watch The Short Documentary of Shan’s Life and the first 3 episodes of The Shan Show with Costa, Natalie and Doug on the following platforms:
Shan’s Facebook Page:
Episode 1: Costa – https://fb.watch/52bNZPlysx/
Episode 2: Natalie – https://youtu.be/EmR0MCofTs0
Episode 3: Doug – https://fb.watch/5oQ52nFZxt/
Platform ZA:  https://platformza.tv
Alfastream SA YouTube Channel:
Documentary – https://youtu.be/-T1R4zGE0Gg
Episode 1: Costa – 
Episode 2: Nataliehttps://youtu.be/EmR0MCofTs0
Episode 3: Doughttps://youtu.be/F2_1YyqwAhY

We invite you to view and share the short documentary of Shan’s life and all The Shan Show episodes far and wide at no cost.

A special thank you to The Shan Show’s production team.

This could not have been made possible without you.

Director – Warren Bleksley

Producer – Greg Nefdt

Content Producer – Tamaryn Nicholson

Co-ordinator – Robert Nicholson

Make-Up Artist – Storm Stocker of Taken By Storm

Production Crew – Blond Productions, Alfa Cam and Blade Studios

Logo Design – Eden Michelle

Legal – Richard Moerman

Event Venue – Copperlake Breweries

The Shan Show Guests – Costa, Natalie, Zola, Megan, Doug and Shannon


If there is any way you can help Shan or her guests, or for donation inquiries contact tam@tamarynnicholson.co.za

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