Kirwa was born with degenerative eye problems in 1973, on a small farm in Kapsabet in Kenya’s Rift Valley into a family of runners. His vision got worse until, in sixth grade, he couldn’t read well enough to do his school work.Kirwa often ran with his brothers, following their shadows and their footsteps. In 2007, at age 34, Kirwa ran his first competition in the All-Africa Games and landed gold and silver medals. In 2008 at the Paralympics in Beijing, he won gold medals and set world records in the 1,500 meters, 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters. In 2009 he was appointed as a UN Development Programme [UNDP] advocate. In 2015 he was named an East Africa Community Ambassador in recognition of his philanthropic work operating alongside his ‘Henry Kiprono Kirwa Foundation’ that supports people living with impairments in Kenya and East Africa.He was Kenya’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
His older brother Paul Kibii Tergat, held the world record for the marathon between 2003 and 2007.